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Pregnancy and work

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Pregnancy at work

It is up to you when you tell your employer that you are pregnant. Many women prefer to do this before they start to look pregnant.

As a general rule, women should be able to continue working in their jobs while pregnant, unless there are occupational health and safety issues which would harm their health or the baby’s health.

  • Some jobs may be unsafe or not ideal to continue during pregnancy.
  • These may include jobs where you are exposed to x-ray equipment or chemicals, or where you need to stand all day or do a lot of lifting.

If you are concerned about your safety at work while pregnant, please talk to your doctor. If your doctor says that the work you are doing is unsafe in pregnancy, then your employer should be able to move you to a safe job.

Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you because you are pregnant. Protections in federal legislation include prohibitions against unlawful termination and discrimination in the workplace based on pregnancy and potential pregnancy.  

More information

Raising Children Network 

Parental leave

Many men and women are able to take time off work, without having to resign, to care for their newborn or newly adopted child.

  • Parental leave covers maternity leave (for women), paternity leave (for men) and adoption leave.
  • The parental leave provisions apply to permanent full-time, part-time and eligible casuals employees who have had at least 12 months of continuous service with their current employer.

For more information, have a look at the Fair Work Ombudsman 

Paid Parental Leave

The Australian Government has introduced a comprehensive Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme for new parents who are the primary carers of a child born or adopted after 1 January 2011

More information 

Department of Human Services 

Department of Employment  

More information

Raising Children Network 

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.


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